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Monday, Jul 22, 2024

Hong Kong’s civil service chief vows to tap workers’ potential as younger ones quit

Hong Kong’s civil service chief vows to tap workers’ potential as younger ones quit

Minister Ingrid Yeung pledges bureau will strive to offer more training and opportunities to give civil servants greater incentive to stay.

The head of Hong Kong’s civil service has pledged to offer more training so its employees can move up the ranks after figures showed the number of workers in their thirties who quit in the previous financial year was up sharply over previous ones.

“The civil service is like any other business. It takes a while for newcomers to adjust and one learns if the job fits him or her only after working for some time,” Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung Ho Poi-yan on Saturday said.

“So it is not a special case to see young people who had joined the public service for short periods leave.”

Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung argues the pandemic created “extra pressure and more work requirements” for government workers in recent years.


The minister said learning opportunities and a work environment that could unleash employees’ potential should be provided in an effort to retain them.

“For example, the government will apply some advanced technology to the workplace, ensuring it does not fall behind those found at private institutions,” she said. “Meanwhile, we will offer sufficient training opportunities.”

Yeung also pointed to the Civil Service College, which has been focusing on providing multiple training courses to government workers to expand their understanding of the country, advanced technology and international relations.

The Post reported earlier this week that a government document showed 1,299 civil servants aged 30 to 39 left their jobs during the 2021-22 financial year. At 35 per cent of the total, they made up the largest share of the 3,734 civil servants who quit.

The resignations in that age group was more than three times greater than the 402 in the age range recorded in 2017-18.

The government told lawmakers that those leaving the 174,000-strong civil service had cited reasons such as health, family, study or new job opportunities as reasons for quitting.

While acknowledging the numbers were up, Yeung argued the pandemic had created “extra pressure and more work requirements” for government workers in recent years.

“With society back to normal, work at different departments has returned to its original track. I think young civil servants might be able to see what government work should be like now,” she said.

Data from the Civil Service Bureau shows that training programmes conducted by the college in 2023-24 are estimated to cost HK$67.8 million (US$8.64 million). They will focus on enhancing governance and leadership, understanding the country, building a people-oriented service culture, strengthening professional competence and promoting a culture of continuous learning.

“The courses are offered to both young and senior servants,” Yeung said. “We believe with the mentioned efforts, civil servants will find their job fulfilling and be willing to stay.”

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